By Tim Farrant
Everyone understands whatever of nineteenth-century France - or do they? "Les Miserables", "The girl of the Camelias" and "The 3 Musketeers", "Balzac" and "Jules Verne" dwell within the well known awareness as enduring human records and cultural icons. but, the French 19th century used to be much more dynamic than the stereotype indicates. This fascinating new advent takes the literature of the interval either as a window on prior and current mindsets and as an item of fascination in its personal correct. starting with heritage, the century's largest challenge and strength, it seems at narrative responses to historic, political and social adventure, ahead of devoting valuable chapters to poetry, drama and novels - all genres the century noticeably reinvented. It then explores quite a few modernities, methods nineteenth-century writing and mentalities look ahead to our personal, earlier than turning to marginalities - topics and voices the canon generally forgot. No style was once left unchanged by means of the 19th century. This e-book may help to find them anew.
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Extra resources for An introduction to nineteenth-century French literature
4 in Chapter 3, this volume). Here is a freedom of expression and association amply justifying Romantic poetry’s dream of being a universal way of making meaning. Yet verse innovation is far from being the whole story. What is expressed changes fundamentally as well. Two pairs of poets, Lamartine and Desbordes-Valmore, and Hugo and Baudelaire, can particularly pinpoint poetry’s dichotomy of private and public, lyricism and vision, in the century’s first six decades, map its move from the Romantic to the modern, before we look at the objective, objects and their opposite, things and effects, in the century’s second half.
Raymond Giraud, The Unheroic Hero in the Novels of Stendhal, Balzac, and Flaubert (New York: Octagon Books, 1969 ). Solid exploration of the challenges for heroes in the bourgeois age. 31 32 Introduction to Nineteenth-Century French Literature Representing the contemporary: histories and novels Claudie Bernard, Le Passé recomposé. Le Roman historique français du dixneuvième siècle (Paris: Hachette, 1996). Intelligent, well rationalised overview. Sandy Petrey, Realism and Revolution. Balzac, Stendhal, Zola and the Performances of History (Ithaca, NY: Cornell, 1988).
This is particularly apparent in short stories, whose generic names in various languages – conte, racconto, Erzählung, tale – often point to the business of giving an account: contes are contés, tales are told. ‘History’, conversely, disguises this, being ostensibly objective or transparent. In Balzac’s story, Chabert and Derville’s accounts are pitted against the Restoration’s official (hi)stories, its legal discourse, and his ex-wife’s lawyer’s, making History, ‘reality’ a competition of rival stories, won by the party with the best lawyer or the most power: the current Establishment, the Restoration.
An introduction to nineteenth-century French literature by Tim Farrant